Valuing and conserving the benefits of marine biodiversity in

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Valuing and conserving the benefits of marine biodiversity in

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Valuing and conserving the benefits of
marine biodiversity in the South Pacific
Five years of support for integrated ocean governance in Pacific Island Countries


We are the sea, we are the ocean – we must wake up to this ancient truth.
Epeli Hau’ofa Tongan writer and anthropologist (1939 – 2009)

A secure future for Pacific Island Countries and Territories based on sustainable development, management and conservation of our Ocean.
The Pacific Oceanscape Vision


Blue Economy & Governance

If the ocean was a state of its own, it would be the seventh largest economy in the world – with a “gross marine product” of at least US$ 2.5 trillion per year. This Blue Economy is underpinned by diverse ecosystems that provide valuable ­services to the world, be it fishing, tourism or shipping.
On the one hand, the ocean is undoubtedly an important part of the world economy. On the other hand, its asset base, that is to say its capital, is steadily declining. This is because the sea is a commons. A large number of countries and stakeholders have a share in the Blue Economy and benefit from the dividend. But without sustainable management, the “capital stock” is sooner or later exhausted.
To address this, there are a multitude of policies and regulations governing the different uses of the ocean. However, at present these are mostly ­limited to certain sectors, such as fishing, tourism or shipping. This one-dimensional approach often leads to conflicts between the different uses, sectors and stakeholders. The bottom line is that everyone is losing – and the marine capital is

shrinking. The answer to this is ­holistic, integrated ocean governance. The vision of a Blue Economy can only be successfully implemented and ­managed with cross-sectoral, transboundary and participatory approaches. Uses, conflicts and management can only be harmonized using new complementary tools and strategies. A core tool for this is Marine Spatial Planning.
As part of this effort, global commitments such as the Aichi Biodiversity Objectives 1 and the Sustainable Development Goals need to be integrated into regional and national approaches. For the South Pacific this means translating strategies such as the Pacific Oceanscape Framework and regional ocean policies into national approaches, which in turn holistically encompass not just coastal regions but also the exclusive economic zones of each Pacific Island nation. This way, the “blue capital” can be preserved and increased for future generations, maximizing the profit and benefit from the Blue Economy for all Pacific Islanders.

1 N amed after the Japanese prefecture of Aichi, where these goals for the implementation of the UN Convention on Biodiversity were formulated in 2010.

Mining and forestry

Sediment and nutrient discharge from agriculture

Climate change and rising sea levels

Increasing coastal zone development

Waste management


Invasive species

New uses 7

Sustainable use of the marine capital

The Pacific Island states are often referred to as “Small Island States”. However, 98 percent of the territory of the five MACBIO project countries is sea. This makes them “Big Ocean States”. Their combined exclusive economic zone covers 7.5 million km 2 – 21 times the area of Germany.
And here, underwater, is also where the majority of the resources and ­biodiversity of these countries can be found, including its cultural, social and economic value. Yet, until recently, national development and conservation planning in these maritime nations has largely focused on land, and was narrowly focused on individual sectors. An alternative concept is the integrated management

and governance of marine resources. This can bring significant economic, social and conservation benefits.
Against this backdrop, the MACBIO project supported the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and targets of five pacific partner countries (highlighted in the map, below) within the framework of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011 – 2020, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Pacific Oceanscape Framework.
In this context, GIZ cooperates closely with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).



Federated States of Micronesia

Republic of the Marshall Islands

North Pacific Ocean

Papua New Guinea








Wallis & futuna

Tokelau Samoa

Port Vila
New Caledonia




Cook Islands

French Polynesia


South Pacific Ocean


New Zealand

Valuing Planning Managing

The valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services enables the integration of results into national development planning and promotes intersectoral planning approaches.

An improved national awareness of the value of marine resources motivates the partner countries to
→ collect and analyse spatial data on the use of marine resources,
→ build capacities for national sustainable development planning,
for partner countries to benefit ­sustainably from their marine and coastal ecosystems.

The documentation of approaches of sustainable management and conservation of marine resources supports a variety of stakeholders such as village communities, NGOs and universities in disseminating and replicating best practices and tools in partner countries and throughout Oceania.



→ Five national marine ecosystem service valuation studies & reports – Short summaries – White papers – Infographics – Interactive and audiovisual tools
→ Fact sheets on marine ecosystem service valuation
→  Manual on marine ecosystem ­service valuation, tailored to the SW Pacific
→  Regional networks and expert register

Marine ecosystem services
→ are often initially not fully visible or are not recognised,
→ can reach the level of national GDP values and
→ must be sustainably used, managed and conserved.
More at­marineecosystem-service-v­ aluation/

Five national marine ecosystem ­service valuation studies & reports

Infographic on the results of the marine ecosystem services valuation in Fiji
ManagementEconomyMarineMarine ResourcesPartner Countries